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Romancing to Rajaa’s tune

Romancing to Rajaa’s tune
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Highlights

South Indian remakes have made big heroes out of many stars in Hindi cinema over the years. If it was Jeetendra, who had a steady parallel track of regional rehashes to line his list of films in which he starred successfully all his career, actors like Mithun Chakraborty and Anil Kapoor too took the same route during their tenures as the leading lights, over two decades ago.

Anil Kapoor and Tabu in ‘Virasat ‘“Payalein Chunmun”, a song from Virasat, maintained the native touch of llaiyarajaa, while faithfully retaining the tune, which was soft and soothing

South Indian remakes have made big heroes out of many stars in Hindi cinema over the years. If it was Jeetendra, who had a steady parallel track of regional rehashes to line his list of films in which he starred successfully all his career, actors like Mithun Chakraborty and Anil Kapoor too took the same route during their tenures as the leading lights, over two decades ago.

The 1992 release ‘Thevar Magan’ in Tamil was widely anticipated and upon release, received a rousing reception for two reasons-one the top star Kamal Hassan playing a NRI-turned-rural biggie and the second, his rare pairing with Sivaji Ganesan, the titan of Tamil cinema who was his real-life hero too! The Telugu dubbed version- ‘Kshatriya Putrudu’- too did not go unnoticed. Ilaiyarajaa’s songs were well received and he was still a few years away from the impact of the thumping success of AR Rahman’s ‘Roja’ released in the same year.

Priyadarshan, the Malayalam film director, who was making a mark in Hindi took over the reins for its remake, ‘Virasat’, released in 1997, which had music by Anu Malik (who composed the rumbustious “Dhol Bajne Laga” in his usual style). “Payalein Chunmun”, however maintained the native touch of Rajaa, faithfully retaining the tune, soft and soothing, replete with flute bits and a non- interfering thump which served as the base.

In the original film too, the placement of the song, which reaffirms the blooming love between the lead pair- Kamal Hassan and Revathi- as Hassan is shown recovering from his heartbreak is a poignant moment. It has more playful affection with the romantic undertone between the two classy actors who win the hearts of their fans effortlessly as the song plays onscreen.

Anil Kapoor replaces Hassan while the talented Tabu steps in for Revathi, almost replicating the mood of the Tamil movie. The song begins in a typically pastoral home and moves outdoors into the farmland, where the burly mustachioed Kapoor romances his beau intensively. The stereotype of the urban view of how villages should be is sustained in the set of scenes that unfold- flying kites, hilly horizons and a fresh green feel to the frames that come up on view.

The lilting, languid pace of the film, almost matching the walking speed of Anil and Tabu has a relaxing impact on the listener/viewer. The breathtaking scenes of Pollachi, an evergreen favourite of Indian film makers is simply superb, captivatingly captured by noted cinematographer Ravi K Chandran.

“Ye Baiyyan gori gori, main thamoon chori chori, zara sun o ri o ri sun toh zara intones Sanu”, in his nasal tone as Chitra gurgles her vocal cords to the pitch. The scene moves once again back home where Kapoor swings back and forth in a wooden swing, kissing Tabu, repeatedly on her cheeks as she blushes with all the attention that she receives. That the song reaches a natural climax from here on is a given, which is the perfect fit for it.

By:K Naresh Kumar

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